KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It was just five years ago when girls were welcomed to participate in traditional Boy Scout programs and now one of the first to join has earned the title of Cub Scout of the Year in East Tennessee.

Kate Shomaker knows what it’s like to be a pioneer in scouting. The program for younger kids, Cub Scouts, has been welcoming girls since 2018, and Shomaker was among them, blazing the trail and enjoying every minute of it.

“You are outdoors most of the time, where in school you are indoors. You try things like knots and pocket knives. In school you are going things like math and science and history,” said Shomaker.

Being outdoors brings a smile to Shomaker’s face and hands-on activities brighten her day as well. Cub Scouts since 1953 have been fascinated by Pinewood Derby races and bringing home a trophy or two.

For Shomaker and her little sister, Larkin, their scouting adventure involves the whole family.

“Well, my dad is actually the Cubmaster of my Pack. My mom is the assistant den leader,” said Shomaker.

There is also the wonderment of learning as scouting helps children develop academic skills. For her achievements, Shomaker earned this special honor.

“That is my NOVA award, which is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. I did a few activities for that. One of them was about pendulums and pulleys the other was with rockets,” said Shomaker.

Kate Shomaker shows her NOVA award.

Her first involvement in civic activities started in Cub Scouts, she picked up skills involving teamwork and initiative and Shomaker earned the God and Me award. Duty to God is one of the cornerstones of scouting.

“I had to work with a booklet with a lot of activities and worksheets and had to get it signed by a pastor,” said Shomaker.

Soon, there will be a new adventure in the Scouts BSA program and joining a troop.

“I am really excited about that because I know all the girls there. They are all really nice,” said Shomaker.

Shomaker’s dad, Rob Shomaker, is an Eagle Scout, that’s what she wants to be someday.

“I am going to try and get that,” said Shomaker.

Meet the other Scouts of 2023

Kate Shomaker, Cub Scout of the year in the Great Smoky Mountain Council. Shomaker and other scouts of the year will be honored at the distinguished citizen dinner benefiting the Great Smoky Mountain Boy Scout Council alongside UT legend Joan Cronan.